Last week was a toughie for my family and me. I have been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease, an autoimmune disease that causes one’s immune system to attack and destroy the thyroid gland. In addition to this, we discovered that my liver – in response to the Hashimoto’s Disease – was performing gluconeogenesisÂ pretty much around the clock.
In English, this means my liver was freaking out – thanks to the ever-so-rude silent treatment it was getting from my thyroid – and turning everything I ate into sugar. NutriSystem? Sugar. Jenny Craig? Sugar. Weight Watchers? Sugar.Â Low carb diet? Â Sugar. Low calorie diet? Sugar. VERY low calorie diet? Sugar. All veggie juicing cleanse for a month? Sugar. Paleo diet? Sugar. Medifast clinically monitored powder shakes 5x a day & nothing else? Sugar.
I’ve. Done. It. All… and still felt tired, achy and chubby. Always.
Finally, following a good old fashioned crying spell at the Doc’s office last week, God provided some much-needed answers. Armed with 10 years worth of my cumulative health data, our wonderful family Doc was able to order further testing on me to uncover the cause. Praise God she cares so much for our family and was/is our partner in discovering – and treating – the truth. We knew I had a “slow thyroid” before, but did not have any idea – until last week – that I have full-blown and well progressed Hashimoto’s Disease.
There is much more to my story than I have ever addressed in public. My silent pain over the past 10 years since our twins were born (and I nearly went to be with Jesus on the delivery table – a story I’ll share another time) has been that no matter what I did, I would lose 10 -20 pounds then reach some undefinable plateau and gain it back + 5 more. This has been going on consistently for a decade, so when you do the math. It isn’t pretty. The spirit of defeat was never far away. The spirit of condemnation was his co-conspirator. Shame was driving their getaway car. Their heist? Â My health, joy & peace.
You see, as ministers, we all walk a strange line being in the public eye: Willing exposure to personal judgement. As a psychologist, I’m not ignorant to the facts. Whether I’m speaking to a small group of women about marital issues or I’m speaking to a conference of international ministers, there’s one thing I can’t always “just be myself” enough to overcome… that question. That one question people in ministry, especially, often have in the back of their minds: “If she’s chubby, doesn’t that mean she lacks self-control?”, “Is she gluttonous?” Or the other one… “Is she lazy?” Â You know, the ol’ underlying assumption that one’s pants size somehow correlates to a number on the fictitious Sin-O-Meter dial. Or what about couples who come in for an initial counseling session and don’t come back because of the assumption that an out of shape looking person must not be “in control” enough to lead them through their personal journey? Â The scrutiny is there, but rarely discussed… and that’s ok. Â I’m a professional who is perfectly comfortable addressing uncomfortable things.
Many would be surprised at the truth behind those assumptions. I’ve had friends, family and even total strangers completely dismiss me: “Just work out more”… “Just cut out the wheat” (not knowing that I haven’t eaten wheat products in nearly a year)… and even had one physician speak lies and untruth over me: “That’s just not possible, you’re not telling me everything” after reviewing my 3-month clinical food journal documenting five 90 calorie shakes a day + water. Still another spoke death and failure over me “You’ll never be able to lose any weight without drastic surgery.” (of course, he was trying to sell me that drastic surgery! lolÂ ). I could go on, but let the record show: self-control is not the issue. I don’t know many people who could go through the dietary gymnastics I’ve gone through – with no results – and still keep trying. God taught me well through this process to stay humble, teachable and keep my eyes on the prize – no matter what – and for that refining fire, I am so grateful.
Unless and until God does something amazing here, I will probably have to take thyroid hormone replacements and liver medicines for the rest of my life. It will take us a while of trial and error to determine what the proper levels are for me… and that’s ok. I will do whatever I need to do to empower my body to recover and overcome the last 10 years of damage. I will bathe myself in prayer, I will follow my doctor’s plan… and I will follow THE DOCTOR’s plan! 🙂 I’m going to do what I need to do in the natural, and let God put His “Super” on there wherever, whenever He wants to give me Supernatural results. I submit this condition to Him, it is hereby fully subject to His authority and His truth. His report is the one that matters.
I have something this week that I didn’t have last week: Hope.Â I trust God with this, and I hand it over to Him completely. Now that I know the name of the assignment the enemy has against my health, joy and peace, I know how to battle and defeat it in Jesus’ name.Â You see, Jesus Himself said that whoever believed in Him will be able to do greater things than He.(John 14:12) I believe in Him.
Now that our family has had time to circle the wagons, educate ourselves and talk to God about this, I really – personally – wanted to share this piece of my journey with you. Â My family and I ask you to please join us in praying – and believing – for full healing and restoration, because I know that’s God’s will for me.
If you’ve been suffering from an unseen illness, please share your story below so we can pray with you, too. Â We’re better together!
“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” – James 5:16
Please remember that it isn’t our veiled air of perfection that draws people to Christ… it’s His glory shining through our humanity that sparkles the brightest. It’s okay to talk about the valley… people can’t possibly understand the magnitude and beauty of the mountaintop without it 🙂
By His Grace Alone,
Dr. Nicole Weyant